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Indian animation house Xentrix Studios is set to expand to Australia after acquiring Melbourne indie Viskatoons.

Xentrix Studios Australia will be headed by Viskatoons’ creative director Peter Viska, while Ken Cantrill has been appointed head of creative.

The Melbourne arm adds to Xentrix’s offshoots in the Philippines, Canada and Singapore. Worldwide, the company employs more than 1,400 with a client roster than includes Marvel, Disney and Warner Bros.

The acquisition of Viskatoons, Victoria’s longest-running animation house behind IP such as Jar Dwellers SOS, was a major step in the establishment of the local outpost. Xentrix Studios Australia will acquire and continue to develop selected IP for international sale.

The move is a continuation of Xentrix’s plans to create content globally, with CEO and chairman Nandish Domlur touting the acquisition as an exciting opportunity.

“Both Ken and I have been discussing this opportunity for some time now and 2021 has seen us entering into a win/win collaboration. What Peter and Ken brings to the table is unique content, something that the Xentrix brand has been seeking. We are very excited about our new Australian partnership,” said Domlur.

“It’s evident that Viskatoons has been a prolific contributor to the Australian animation sector over a long period of time. This is testament to Peter’s reputation and professionalism, and it is with great pleasure that we, here at Xentrix, partner with Peter Viska and his team on this new chapter. Xentrix Studios and Xentrix Studios Australia will continue to pay homage to the Viskatoons legacy. This partnership is a wonderful opportunity for both parties involved.”

Cantrill added: “Exciting times are ahead for the entire Xentrix Group. The media industry in its current climate is very competitive and crowded at the top. This partnership provides a unique opportunity to look outside the square. Additionally and equally as important, it places Melbourne on the world animation stage and showcases what we have to offer. I’m grateful that Mr Domlur has connected with my long-term plan.”

All existing Viskatoons staff will carry over to the entity, to be based in Richmond. During production staff numbers will ramp up to around 50 people.

Xentrix Studios Australia already has four TV series in development, three of which are in pilot production.

Cantrill tells IF that as part of this, it has also formed partnership with Sydney Street Crew, linked with EA Sports, as well as the Federation of Australian Futsal, a member of the World Futsal Federation (AMF) – with the hope to see a project rolled out to 55 countries and more than 30 million members. It is also in final round talks with a prominent Indian Premier League franchise.

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